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Nostalgic Teleology:- Friedrich Schiller and the Schemata of Aesthetic Humanism

Friedrich Schiller and the Schemata of Aesthetic Humanism

Series:

Constantin Behler

This study develops a novel interpretation of Schiller's classical aesthetic humanism - «the fountainhead of all later German critical theory» (Wellek) - as a program of normative discipline in Foucault's sense of the term. Schiller's aesthetics establishes and puts to work a number of metaphysical schemata, such as the three-stage figure of origin and return, in order to render its subjects as programmable and as subject to a knowledge that could be strategically deployed to shape and transform them. Nostalgic teleology, the promise of a recovery of nature, wholeness, and community serves to hide the violence of this project of aesthetic education. At its center stands the formation of «the Other Sex», which is analyzed as the truly classical elaboration of a modern «regime of truth.»